My main thrust here has been to point out that the primary trunk, as it were, of photography, as well as many of the limbs, are really about ephemera. There's a lot of photography being done which isn't intended to live on for more than a few hours, a few weeks. We cannot simply dismiss this, for a couple of reasons:
- Numerically, the vast majority of pictures that are taken are ephemeral, mostly by design, sometimes not. Ephemera is dominant.
- This is the world in which we live. Our customers, our friends, our critics, they all live in a world in which almost all photos are ephemera.
Still, if you want people to understand your work, you do need to make the point that you're doing something different. Making hard copies of some sort, prints, books, scrolls, or billboards, is a big hint on this point. Prints don't generally evaporate in a week, after all. This is probably not the only way.
Kirk Tuck makes gorgeous portraits. Instagramming these and turning these into personal marketing materials for social media would be a crime. To my eye, though, even in digital online form, these portraits are already visibly something different. I'm a pretty sophisticated looker-at-photographs, to be fair, but to me eye these things are loaded to the brim with cues that these are something different, something timeless, something lasting.
My point, at any rate, is that the world of ephemeral photographs is real, it is here. While it is not everything, you ignore it at your peril. It might pay you to give a moment of thought to embracing it. It might be an interesting path forward.